Keeping Weight Off With The Rule of 16

I know what you’re thinking: Successful dieting can’t be reduced down to one simple rule. It’s not that simple! Surely you have to count calories, cut carbs, eat only protein, eat only salad, weigh your morning cereal on a kitchen scale, or count how many “points” are in your lunchtime sandwich! All those are perfectly valid paths to weight loss (though some are healthier than others), but for me, nothing beats good old-fashioned moderation when it comes to maintaining good health. Here’s what I do – and it is as simple as following one rule: The Rule of 16.

There are 21 meals in a week. Go ahead, count them. I’ll wait.

Now, plan out 16 of them. Make them healthy and balanced with lots of fruits and vegetables. In fact, one of my favorite diet foods is a giant plate of spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and lean turkey meat balls. Count calories or points or weight on your kitchen scale if you like.

With the other 5 meals – do whatever you want. Go out to lunch with your friends, or out to dinner with your spouse and kids. Surprise birthday party at the office? You can have that piece of cake. Sunday night dinner with the in-laws? Don’t let it stress you out because you can have that too.

The problem with most diet plans is that they’re so restrictive it’s impossible to keep to them unless you become a hermit. It helps to have a little wiggle room so we can fully engage with our friends and family (food is a wonderful way to bond!). But when you keep your calorie intake low for 16/21 meals, the other 5 “cheats” average out. You won’t gain weight, and you can give in to a few cravings.

As they say, everything in moderation – including moderation!